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Mark Turcotte

Born: North Dakota
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Turcotte has lived in Chicago. He currently teaches at DePaul University.

Biography: Mark Turcotte spent his earliest years on North Dakota's Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation and in the migrant camps of the western United States. Later, he grew up in and around Lansing, Michigan. Arriving in Chicago in the spring of 1993 Turcotte rediscovered a love of words, began writing again, and quickly established himself as a unique voice in the citys thriving poetry scene. That summer he was winner of the First Gwendolyn Brooks Open-mic Poetry Award. After receiving an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, Turcotte served as the 2008-2009 Visiting Native Writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has now returned to Chicago where he teaches Creative Writing as Visiting Assistant Professor in English at DePaul University.

  • Turcotte was awarded 1999 and 2003 Literary Fellowships by the Wisconsin Arts Board, and he was the recipient of a 2001-2002 Lannan Foundation Literary Completion Grant. In 2004 he completed a National Book Foundation AmericanVoices assignment at Wind Ri

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Exploding Chippewas /
ISBN: 0810151227 OCLC: 48951093

TriQuarterly Books, Evanston, Ill. : ©2002.

Songs of our ancestors :
ISBN: 0516451545 OCLC: 31377158

Childrens Press, Chicago : ©1995.

A collection of more than twenty poems that focus on famous North American Indians and events in their history.

The feathered heart /
ISBN: 0870134825 OCLC: 774285372

Michigan State University Press, East Lansing : ©1998.

This revised and expanded edition of The Feathered Heart, Mark Turcotte's celebrated collection of Native American poetry, brings traditional oral culture to print. Torn, painful, vibrant, and full of hope, his poetry weaves together the multilayered and textured fabric of contemporary Native American urban and rural existence. Appropriately, each poem in The Feathered Heart possesses a deeply lyrical quality. Raw emotion echoes in Turcotte's voice, in his verse, in the things he sees. ""Ten Thousand Thousand Bones, "" for example, ""a poem about the desecration.